Category Archives: meditation

100 breaths Meditation

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We filmed our chair yoga video here and as a bonus for you, a free mediation video as the sun rise at Wat Chaiwatthanaram temple (built in 1630 AD) – Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Meditation is valuable discipline that can help you stay young in both body and spirit. 100 deep breath meditation each day can reduces stress, improved memory, increased resistance to distraction and social pressure, improved brain functioning… (see research findings here)

Distraction free video with out wording,
click => Meditation For Dummies & Complete Beginners: 100 Breaths

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Yoga & Drug

Yoga & DrugPromote love and acceptant, a live video class connecting those affected by substance abuse with free access to yoga and meditation in the privacy of their own home. In collaboration with You Are Beautiful project at World Karma Project and Free To Be Fit.


Starting April.22.2015
Join Adam Quang every Wednesdays (7-8pm) via Skype (YogiSecret) or Google Plus.
– See below or click here or more info:  Free To Be Fit / FB page.

Free To Be Fit


Simple Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science


You might have seen some talk recently about the scientific 7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. So if you thought exercise was something you didn’t have time for, maybe you can fit it in after all.

Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with exercise. The results of this study really surprised me. Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels to begin with, the follow up assessments proved to be radically different:

The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent!

You don’t have to be depressed to gain benefit from exercise, though. It can help you to relax, increase your brain power and even improve your body image, even if you don’t lose any weight.

study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies, even when they saw no physical changes:

Body weight, shape and body image were assessed in 16 males and 18 females before and after both 6 × 40 mins exercise and 6 × 40 mins reading. Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before.

We’ve explored exercise in depth before, and looked at what it does to our brains, such as releasing proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier, as you can see in the image below.


We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out, it’s also important for our happiness.

In NutureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects our positivity:

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”

The BPS Research Digest explores another study that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task over the course of a day, the researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive late in the day to negative emotions like fear and anger.

Using a face recognition task, here we demonstrate an amplified reactivity to anger and fear emotions across the day, without sleep. However, an intervening nap blocked and even reversed this negative emotional reactivity to anger and fear while conversely enhancing ratings of positive (happy) expressions.

Of course, how well (and how long) you sleep will probably affect how you feel when you wake up, which can make a difference to your whole day. Especially this graph showing how your brain activity decreases is a great insight about how important enough sleep is for productivity and happiness:


Another study tested how employees’ moods when they started work in the morning affected their work day.

Researchers found that employees’ moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers’ moods.

And most importantly to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees did and how well they did it.

Sleep is another topic we’ve looked into before, exploring how much sleep we really need to be productive.


One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

If we go back to Shawn Achor’s book again, he says this about helping others:

…when researchers interviewed more than 150 people about their recent purchases, they found that money spent on activities—such as concerts and group dinners out—brought far more pleasure than material purchases like shoes, televisions, or expensive watches. Spending money on other people, called “prosocial spending,” also boosts happiness.

The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that explored this very topic:

Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.

So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. What about spending our time on other people? A study of volunteering in Germany explored how volunteers were affected when their opportunities to help others were taken away:

 Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.

In his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman explains that helping others can improve our own lives:

…we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.


Smiling itself can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.

Of course it’s important to practice “real smiles” where you use your eye sockets. It’s very easy to spot the difference:


According to PsyBlogsmiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks:

Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our attentional flexibility and our ability to think holistically. When this idea was tested by Johnson et al. (2010), the results showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees.

A smile is also a good way to alleviate some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances:

Smiling is one way to reduce the distress caused by an upsetting situation. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we don’t feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly (this is one example of embodied cognition).

One of our previous posts goes into even more detail about the science of smiling.


Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity and attention p, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out it’s also useful for improving your happiness:

In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier live. I believe that this graphic explains it the best:


According to Shawn Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term:

Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.

The fact that we can actually alter our brain structure through mediation is most surprising to me and somewhat reassuring that however we feel and think today isn’t permanent.


This is a seemingly simple strategy, but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.

In an experiment where some participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice:

The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.

The Journal of Happiness studies published a study that used letters of gratitude to test how being grateful can affect our levels of happiness:

Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period.

Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction, while decreasing depressive symptoms.

Quick last fact: Getting older will make yourself happier

As a final point, it’s interesting to note that as we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to grow happier naturally. There’s still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have got a few ideas:

Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods — for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and hew their goals toward greater wellbeing.

So if you thought being old would make you miserable, rest assured that it’s likely you’ll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now.



Student Comment 2014

Click here for more => feedback,  Reference letters

“I sleep so well and wake up refresh after Back Care yoga, every time” Silvia Medrano

“I can stand & move with out pain, you are a miracle worker!” Yoga therapy session for pain relief and back pain at #YogaBoutiqueTO

You want me to do what? You know I m 95 yr old! Few sec later… “Ohh that feel good…” Kim Morgan / (Gentle Chair Yoga)

Jan.2014  Stephen 67, rely on a 4 wheels walker to move around. His body leaning to the side and in constant discomfort with back pain, stiff neck and shoulder pain, and and and…
……. And after Adam Quang  Gentle Chair Yoga classes Jun.2014

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“Adam is a wonderful teacher. He manages to teach at several levels in (Taichi ) class while creating a peaceful and relaxing meditative atmosphere” Karen Savoie

Click here for more comment => feedback,  Reference letters


“Wow. I experienced my first couple yoga and I can say that I’m closer to my partner than ever. It was a new experience and it pushed me harder than doing yoga on my own. I highly recommend this to all couple.” Jen A.

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“Adam’s Tai chi class is very valuable to us and has become a major motivation in continuing on at Wynn. Adam is a gifted teacher and I am eager to continue learning from him. We each are letting our friends know about this class in hopes of building up the numbers.” Marilyn Kado

I attended Adam’s Meditation & Neck and Shoulder Care class a couple of weeks ago and must say that it was a delightful experience. Adam takes the time to address each student’s concerns and creates a wonderful & soothing atmosphere. The small class sizes make for an intimate experience that one may not get in a large studio. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone interested in meditation, especially those just starting to incorporate it into their lives.

Thanks again Adam 🙂


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“Thanks so much for a great (Back Care) yoga class.” Marielen Douridas

“Enjoyed (Gentle Chair Yoga) class today and will be back next week” Barb Sadegur

60s Stephen A. walked into Gentle Chair Yoga  with a 4 wheels walker in discomfort and with his body leaning to the side. After class as he was walking out, he called “Hey Adam, I am standing straight, no pain and feeling great” as he gave me a smile and continued on his way. Jan 21, 2014

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“Thank you for keeping me mobile.  I was at the doctor for a check-up on my 4 year old hip replacement. As I was waiting for the doctor to come back, I heard my physiotherapist said to my doctor as he pointed to me, ‘Ya, she’s the only one who got 5/5 of flexibility. No one ever got more than 4/5.’  I was very pleased and thanks to you (Adam). Because of your Gentle Chair Yoga, I was able to move and bend this and that way.” 70s Katri W. Jan 21, 2014

“I sleep so well and with out interruption every time after Back Care, thank you. I alway have problem sleeping and smallest noise would woke me up, but never after your class.” Silvia Medrano

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“Adam is a great instructor. Very patient, very wise.
His class was great for my back health. I was looking for a good yoga instructor for a long time, and Adam is the One!!!!” Silvia Medrano Jan 2014 / Back Care at #YogaBoutiqueTO

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“My discovery of Adam Quang’s classes has kept me loyal (to Wynn Fitness). I find Adam to be a wise, inspirational instructor, and value his classes as central to my overall program of wellbeing.” John Goddard

“My wife and I are planning to join Wynne Fitness on Esplanade in May. Our primary reason is to take the Tai Chi classes offered by Adam Quang.” Ric & Chris Hillyer

Click here for more => feedback,  Reference letters


Meditation & Neck and Shoulder Care

Mindfulness in an urban landscape
Slowing down, find meaning, be.

 “Thank you for a great and supportive class!” Anna

Relieving neck & shoulder stiffness, while meditate on finding balance and peace in our daily life. Click here for more info…

Jan.14 to Feb.11 / Feb.18 to Mar.18
♦ Thursday
Jan.16 to Feb.13 / / Feb.20 to Mar.20

Time: 6 to 7pm
Cost: $12 drop-in ($50 / 5 class)
Location: Downtown Toronto

Pre-register and invited only (Drop-in are always welcome for regular client with RSVP 2 hours before via phone or text)

Yogis of all levels and skill are welcome, including beginners. The class will be held in YOGA BOUTIQUE, a casual environment. Class size are limited to 2-5 people, student get more personal attention and posture correction. A “Back to Basic” style of yoga.

Hurry only 5 spots are available
RSVP NOW for your spot.

I attended Adam’s Meditation & Neck and Shoulder Care class a couple of weeks ago and must say that it was a delightful experience. Adam takes the time to address each student’s concerns and creates a wonderful & soothing atmosphere. The small class sizes make for an intimate experience that one may not get in a large studio. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone interested in meditation, especially those just starting to incorporate it into their lives.

Thanks again Adam 🙂

Adam Quang #YogaBoutiqueTO
Adam Quang #YogaBoutiqueTO


Click here to pay and RSVP your spot.

Adam Quang  work as a yoga therapist, specializing in building back muscles and improving flexibility. Over the past thirty years, he has been sharing and practicing the art of meditation. Adam is a registered yoga instructor with the Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 Master level certification and has been teaching yoga since 1994.

Article and Links:
Harvard Yoga Scientists Find Proof of Meditation Benefit
How Yoga Heal & What Happens When Our Emotions Stay in Our Bodies
Click here for Yoga studies: How Yoga Changes Your Body
more on Meditation + Neck and shoulder care
click here for more class…
more on Meditation
more on Back Care

more on Neck and shoulder care

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Meditating “Buddha Boy” Goes Without Food Or Water For 10 Months!

“A meditating teenage boy in south-central Nepal who went without food or water for 10 months has changed the way we look at modern science and medicine forever. In 2006, Discovery Channel film crew traveled to Nepal to establish if it was possible for a human to abstain from all sustenance, water included, by filming “Buddha Boy” continuously for four days and nights.

Ram Bahadur Bomjon, also known as “Buddha Boy” attracted thousands of visitors and media attention when he began his mysterious meditation without food and water on 16 May 2005.

Most people can live without food for several weeks, with the body drawing on its fat and protein stores. But the average human can survive for only three to four days without water.

The film crew was able to film Ram continuously for 96 hours, day and night, during which time he did not change his position and did not drink any fluids or eat any food. The film crew concluded that: “After 96 hours of filming, Ram has defied modern science by continuing his meditation and remaining alive.”

The Discovery Channel documentary film produced was titled “The Boy With Divine Powers” and you can watch it below.” via


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here He talk about his meditation

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review meditation: Jeannine Woodall

Jeannine Woodall / ph: 647-504-9766

I signed up for one of her meditation workshops offered on a Sunday afternoon. It was two and a half hours. We began the workshop by waking up the body with gentle yoga sun salutations and postures for about 20 minutes. Then Jeannine talked to us about the different ways in which people may meditate and why meditation is so beneficial. We did a session of meditation that was about 10 minutes – sitting still and quietly on our mats. Some students sat on chairs if they had mobility issues. Jeannine helped everyone to find a suitable position. She did not guide us or do any visualization. We simply sat in quietness.

At the end of the first meditation we did some more yoga postures together. Our bodies felt warmer and our breathing was faster. Then we discussed some of the feeling we had experienced during the meditation. Some students commented that it was hard to sit still. Some students commented that they felt sleepy during meditation. Jeannine suggested keeping the eyelids very slightly apart in order to let some light in until we have more experience with meditation. And she also suggested a variety of sitting positions.

We did another session of meditation for about 15 minutes.

Then we did a further set of yoga postures.

Jeannine came around and offered students some aromatherapy and placed some scented oil on the back of our neck. We did a final meditation session for about 20 minutes. We then discussed the different feelings/sensations we had in each meditation session.

Everyone agreed that our final meditation was the best! We all found a stillness and calmness that we had not experienced at the beginning of the class. We all found that 20 minutes passed without any awareness of time passing – unlike our first experience.

We left feeling still, calm and had a wonderful sense of well-being. If you are interested in meditation but have never found the time or are not sure how to begin, I recommend that you take one of Jeannine’s workshops! It might open a whole new world for you

by: Anonymous
More yoga studio review : click here Review /Studio


Jeannine teaches yoga and offers a variety of workshops including meditation, and teacher training. She works in different yoga studios in the downtown area of Toronto. She also leads a yoga retreat to Mexico each winter.

Meditation: Jeannine offers instruction in meditation methods, depending on the need of the practitioner. She leads mindfulness meditation sessions, and gives guidance in visualization and mantra techniques. Meditation practice stabilizes the mind, which in turn gives rise to insight and compassion. Most of Jeannine’s yoga classes include some time for meditation.

Buddhist Lineage: His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, Jikdrel Yeshe Dorje (1904 – 1987) was appointed by His Holiness The Dalai Lama as the supreme head of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Jeannine has been a practitioner in this “Nyingma” or “Ancient” school of Tibetan Buddhism for some time. She has been guided by many wonderful Lamas in mantra, visualization, ritual, meditation and philosophy.


Would you like to help and contribute?

Feel free to leave a comment and I will add it to the post.

  • Is this your 1st time trying out this location?
  • How many people were in the class?
  • How did you like it?
  • Was the location convenient for TTC/ bus/ subway/ parking?
  • Was the teacher knowledgeable? Did he/she offer any encouragement?
  • Does the instructor give good instructions and offer alternative poses for new practitioners or people with limited physical abilities?
  • Would you come back to this studio?

If you wish to add your studio here, please send: a short paragraph on the studio (teacher’s / style/ philosophy if you have one) and any special or introductory rates for people who want to try out.…


Tai Chi Reported to Ease Fibromyalgia

this article is from The New York Times By PAM BELLUCK

“twice-weekly tai chi classes and a DVD to practice with 20 minutes daily, showed weekly improvement on an established measurement, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, improving more than the stretching-and-education group in physicians’ assessments, sleep, walking and mental health. One-third stopped using medication, compared with one-sixth in the stretching group….

After a few weeks, she said she began to feel better, and after 12 weeks “the pain had diminished 90 percent.” She has continued tai chi, lost 50 pounds and can walk three to seven miles a day….”

The ancient Chinese practice of tai chi may be effective as a therapy for fibromyalgia, according to a study published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

A clinical trial at Tufts Medical Center found that after 12 weeks of tai chi, patients with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, did significantly better in measurements of pain, fatigue, physical functioning, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education. Tai chi patients were also more likely to sustain improvement three months later.

“It’s an impressive finding,” said Dr. Daniel Solomon, chief of clinical research in rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the research. “This was a well-done study. It was kind of amazing that the effects seem to carry over.”

Although the study was small, 66 patients, several experts considered it compelling because fibromyalgia is a complex and often-confusing condition, affecting five million Americans, mostly women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since its symptoms can be wide-ranging and can mimic other disorders, and its diagnosis depends largely on patients’ descriptions, not blood tests or biopsies, its cause and treatment have been the subject of debate.

“We thought it was notable that The New England Journal accepted this paper, that they would take fibromyalgia on as an issue, and also because tai chi is an alternative therapy that some people raise eyebrows about,” said Dr. Robert Shmerling, clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, co-author of an editorial about the study.

“Fibromyalgia is so common, and we have such a difficult time treating it effectively. It’s defined by what the patient tells you,” he added. “It’s hard for some patients’ families and their doctors to get their head around what it is and whether it’s real. So, that these results were so positive for something that’s very safe is an impressive accomplishment.”

Recent studies have suggested that tai chi, with its slow exercises, breathing and meditation, could benefit patients with other chronic conditions, including arthritis. But not all of these reports have been conclusive, and tai chi is hard to study because there are many styles and approaches.

The fibromyalgia study involved the yang style of tai chi, taught by a Boston tai chi master, Ramel Rones. Dr. Solomon and other experts cautioned that bigger studies with other masters and approaches were necessary.

Still, patients, who received twice-weekly tai chi classes and a DVD to practice with 20 minutes daily, showed weekly improvement on an established measurement, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, improving more than the stretching-and-education group in physicians’ assessments, sleep, walking and mental health. One-third stopped using medication, compared with one-sixth in the stretching group.

Dr. Chenchen Wang, a Tufts rheumatologist who led the study, said she attributed the results to the fact that “fibromyalgia is a very complex problem” and “tai chi has multiple components — physical, psychological, social and spiritual.”

The therapy impressed Mary Petersen, 59, a retired phone company employee from Lynn, Mass., who said that before participating in the 2008 study, “I couldn’t walk half a mile,” and it “hurt me so much just to put my hands over my head.” Sleeping was difficult, and she was overweight. “There was no joy to life,” she said. “I was an entire mess from head to foot.”

She had tried and rejected medication, physical therapy, swimming and other approaches. “I was used to being treated in a condescending manner because they couldn’t diagnose me: ‘She’s menopausal, she’s crazy.’ ”

Before the study, “I didn’t know tai chi from a sneeze,” said Ms. Petersen, who has diabetes and other conditions. “I was like, ‘Well, O.K., I’ll get to meet some people, it will get me out of the house.’ I didn’t believe any of it. I thought this is so minimal, it’s stupid.”

After a few weeks, she said she began to feel better, and after 12 weeks “the pain had diminished 90 percent.” She has continued tai chi, lost 50 pounds and can walk three to seven miles a day.

“You could not have convinced me that I would ever have done this or continued with this,” she said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a cure. I will say it’s an effective method of controlling pain.”

Dr. Shmerling said that though tai chi is inexpensive compared with other treatments, some patients would reject such an alternative therapy. And Dr. Gloria Yeh, a Beth Israel Deaconess internist and co-author of the editorial, said others “will say, ‘It’s too slow, I can’t do that.’ ”

But she said it offered a “gentler option” for patients deterred by other physical activities. “The mind-body connections set it apart from other exercises,” she said, adding that doctors are seeking “anything we can offer that will make patients say ‘I can really do this.’ ”

more article on Tai chi click here